News Updates - July 11, 2012
Updated State of Oregon building codes for commercial
On June 22, 2012, BCD announced that we will move
forward with the review and adoption of the Oregon Structural
Specialty Code, Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code, and Oregon Energy
Efficiency Specialty Code along with the 2012 editions of the
respective international codes with an anticipated adoption date
of April 1, 2014.
Concurrently, the Office of State Fire Marshal issued a notice
that it will be adopting the next edition of the Oregon Fire Code
with the same effective date.
We will solicit stakeholder participation in focus groups throughout
the fall with an emphasis on aligning more closely with model
code provisions in the following areas:
Chapter 29 - Plumbing fixtures
Appendix SR - Special residence
Appendix N - Low-rise residential code
Furthermore, we will develop a statewide alternate method recognizing
the 2012 International Building Code, International Mechanical
Code, and International Energy Conservation Code for designers
who may want to use the new model codes ahead of the mandatory
Read our June announcement
for more specific information, including anticipated timelines
and code change criteria.
If you have questions or need more information, contact Structural
Program Chief Richard Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Specialized inspector program
BCD has completed the fourth course in the House Bill 3462 Specialized
Inspector Pilot Program. So far, 98 individuals from 44 jurisdictions
have participated in the program. HB 3462 was enacted to provide
flexibility to jurisdictions by offering a wider range of inspector
certifications. With feedback from the jurisdictions and industry
stakeholders, we developed the Specialized Solar, Plumbing, Electrical
and Finals Inspector certifications. We are continuing to make
improvements to the certification process to address feedback
that we received.
One area of focus is the difficulty some inspectors are having
meeting the required inspection hours. We are looking at alternatives
to work through this concern. One alternative would consist of
a live assessment by a qualified inspector of the program participant's
inspection skills. Another substitute for the inspection hours
could be a live inspection training, which would also contain
testing components. We are working toward a solution that will
make the certification process more helpful to all building departments.
Another the area of focus is the Specialized Electrical Inspector
exam. We will now be reviewing the exam questions and we have
increased the time limit of the exam from three hours to four
hours. We are preparing a study guide that can help inspectors
focus on difficult subjects. In addition, the instructor is on
hand and can reach out to participants having trouble.
Looking to the future, possible certifications include a small
commercial all finals inspector, a complete residential inspector,
or even a simple over-the-counter plan review to meet the jurisdictions'
needs. We need your suggestions on how to continue making this
program a success. Please take a moment to fill out this short
survey by July 18 and help us to develop and offer certifications
that are useful to you.
If you have any questions on the course, contact Aeron Teverbaugh
Accessible and adaptable dwelling unit comparison
With the March 1, 2012, adoption of the 2009 International Building
Code accessibility provisions, Oregon was introduced to some new
concepts and design considerations for dwelling and sleeping units.
In short, the Oregon Structural Specialty Code now addresses:
Accessible units (always spelled with a capital "A")
Accessible units are required to be constructed as fully accessible,
meaning all required features are present at first occupancy.
Unlike Type A and Type B units, accessible units have no features
left as adaptable. Accessible units provide a higher level
of accessibility than Type A and Type B units and are mandated
in all Group I (as a percentage), in Group R-1 (per Oregon
Structural Specialty Code Table 1126.96.36.199), in most Group
R-2 congregate living (as a percentage), and in Group R-4
(at least one unit). The technical criteria for accessible
dwelling units are identified in Section 1002 of the 2003
International Code Council A117.1 as adopted by the State
Type A units
Type A units have some elements that are constructed accessible
and some elements designed to be added or altered when needed.
Type B units
Type B units are constructed to a lower level of accessibility
than either an accessible unit or a Type A unit. While a person
who uses a wheelchair could maneuver in a Type B unit, the
technical requirements are geared more towards people with
lesser mobility impairments.
In response to numerous inquiries requesting help to understand
the nuances between the three types of sleeping and dwelling units,
BCD assembled a white
paper, which provides additional commentary and guidance on
the scope and application of three types of units and how they
interact with the Federal Fair Housing Act provisions.
Oregon Condominium Act and building codes
Q: What is a condominium and how is the code applied to them?
A: Condominium is a legal term used to define ownership. The form
of ownership does not have any bearing on how a structure is constructed
under the building code.
The Condominium Act does not dictate the manner in which a residential
unit is constructed for the purposes of satisfying building code
requirements; instead, the act controls the rights and obligations
of the unit owners with respect to each other, the common elements,
and their respective units.
A condominium may be simply defined as a dwelling unit that the
resident owns as opposed to rents. In other words, the condominium
owners have individual title to the inside space of their unit.
The unit owners may also have an undivided interest in the physical
components of the buildings and land, including foundations, bearing
walls, shear walls, common walls, floors, ceilings, and other
The Oregon Condominium Act requires that individual units be
described by boundaries and area of square feet in a recorded
plat as part of the legal description for the purposes of establishing
tax lots. Common elements of the individual units do not constitute
real property lines for purposes of applying the building codes.
The act also states that a condominium unit is a part of the property
that does not include any portion of the land. The only real property
lines are those that establish the boundary of the land on which
the condominiums are constructed.
In conclusion, dwelling units constructed according to the Oregon
Condominium Act are properly assigned the occupancy classification
they most nearly resemble as established in either the Oregon
Structural Specialty Code or the Oregon Residential Specialty
Code. Once the occupancy classification is established, buildings
are designed to conform to respective codes. For more information,
contact Richard Rogers at 503-378-4472 or email@example.com.
BCD's online courses
We have two classes available through the Chemeketa Community
College eLearn system: the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty
Code (OEESC) course and the 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code
Chapter 11 Accessibility update. You can find out about registration
on our website.
As a quick reminder, the 2010 OEESC course will not be available
after Sept. 1. Individuals holding the Commercial Building Inspector
or Building Plans Examiners certifications were required to take
a code-change course covering the 2010 OEESC at some point during
the code cycle. If you still need to take this course, you need
to register by Aug. 16 and complete it by Sept. 1.
For more information, contact Sherri West, training and public
affairs coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oregon's plug-in electric vehicles charging infrastructure
According to DMV records, Oregon had around 1,200 plug-in electrical
vehicles (PEV) registered by the first quarter of 2012. Pike
Research projects as many as 35,000 PEVs in Oregon through
2017. The PEV market in Oregon, and North America, is expected
to be a mix of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric
While PEV owners like the convenience of being able to charge
their vehicles at home, the state's network of public charging
stations has grown to 500 since 2009. Most of these are Level
2 (240 volts) charging stations with 11 DC quick-chargers (480
volts) scheduled for installation along I-5, U.S. Route 2, and
I-90 during 2012. In addition, the Oregon Department of Transportation
is installing another 22 quick chargers in northwest Oregon along
the Columbia River Gorge, the coast, Central Oregon, and the Willamette
Coast Electric Highway lists all the location of public charging
stations in Oregon. Also, the most recent post on the Better
Buildings for Oregon blog has a summary of information shared
at the EV
Road Map 5 conference held in Portland during June 2012.